By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has expressed his frustration over the attitude of some key officials of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to investors in Washington DC, USA, at the weekend.
The highly respected monarch, who attended an event organised by the Nigerian embassy in the US, which was to provide a platform for government officials to meet with foreign investors, said it was unfortunate that the investors were at the meeting, but the Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo and some Ministers were absent despite being in Washington.
The Cable reports that those who did not attend the investors’ meeting were Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu; and the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed.
Others, who shunned the event, included the Minister of Power, Mr Babatunde Fashola; the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Kayode Fayemi; the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Ogbonnaya Onu; and the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbeh.
Also not at the meeting were Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele; the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Ms Yewande Sadiku; and all Governors, who travelled to the United States.
Only the Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, was present.
According to the emir, such attitude was capable of sending the wrong signals to potential investors.
While addressing newsmen on Saturday, Mr Sanusi said there was no reason for the absence of the officials and the challenges faced at the beginning of the event.
“We had a meeting today with investors, we were supposed to start by 9am; we started at 10am. When I came in, they took me to the ambassador’s office to sit, when investors were waiting there. We had a list of people who were to be here, Vice-President, ministers, some of them are in town, but they haven’t come up.
“You invite top investors, your ministers are in Washington and they did not come to talk to the investors about Nigeria. That is not how you attract investors. If you have this forum in the Rwandan embassy, I assure you President Kagame himself would be there telling people to come to Rwanda,” he said.
The traditional ruler added that, “Sometimes, it is about how we market ourselves, how we package ourselves. There is absolutely no reason for the Nigerian embassy to arrange a ‘Nigeria is open for Business’ forum with ministers in town, with governors in town, and not have the coordination that they are actually here to meet with these investors.
“There is no reason why we should start one hour late, and there is no reason why the public address system should not work. Because at the end of the day, this is the first point of the country.”
“The investors haven’t even come to Nigeria; so, what will be his experience in Abuja if he is having this experience in Washington?” he asked.
He said Nigeria should not display complacency because it was the largest economy in Africa, adding that investors could choose to invest in other countries that were more serious than Nigeria.
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